The treatment of girls in foreign cultures--both bizarre and brutal--attracted a couple of feature reports. The brutal story was filed by NBC's Mark Potter from London. It concerned Banaz Mahmod, a 20-year-old Kurdish immigrant, who was murdered by her father and her uncle--"strangled with a shoelace, her body buried in a suitcase"--after she defied an arranged marriage and fell in love with a Kurd from a rival village. The bizarre came in the shape of ten-year-old Sajani Shakya, as she visited Washington DC to promote Living Goddess, a documentary movie. The Hindus of Nepal revere the girl as an incarnation of the goddess Kali, ABC's Claire Shipman explained, "handpicked at age two from a specific caste" because she conformed to the "32 perfections" including the gait of a swan, even teeth, a golden tender skin. Shipman called her an "honest-to-goodness goddess" but warned that worship ends when puberty arrives, "often a difficult transition." No kidding.
Children are a blessing and should be treated as such. I'm sure every parent shares the same adulation for their children after they are born. It's that some cultures have a different way of showing it.
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